Serendipity

by Chris Bertram on November 9, 2004

No sooner does Des von Bladet leave a comment mentioning Marshall Sahlins than I click on a link in a document Henry sent me and get taken to the Creative Commons site, where there’s an interview with …. Marshall Sahlins on the topic of pampleteering on the internet. Sahlins has republished (and e-published) a number of pamplets from his Prickly Paradigm Press , including his own Waiting for Foucault, Still (PDF), which contains some great observations. Here are two:

Relevance
I don’t know about Britain, but in America many graduate students in anthropology are totally uninterested in other times and places. They say we should study our own current problems, all other ethnography being impossible anyhow, as it is just our “construction of the other.”
So if they get their way, and this becomes the principle of anthropological research, fifty years hence no one will pay the slightest attention to the work they’re doing now. Maybe they’re onto something.

And

Orientalism (dedicated to Professor Gellner)
In Anthropology there are some things that are better left un-Said.

{ 4 comments }

1

seth edenbaum 11.09.04 at 11:27 pm

No comments? I’ll make one:
Sahlins is funny, but then so is his brother

2

johnq 11.09.04 at 11:31 pm

testing

3

se 11.09.04 at 11:39 pm

testing two. My apologies, especially to John Quiggin (‘johnq’ was the first name that came to mind) Maybe Safari is causing the problem.

4

Zizka 11.10.04 at 6:21 am

Sahlins deserves more comment! His book on Captain Cook and Hawaii was a masterpiece. He reports a Hawaiian queen who estimated that she had had eighty husband. According to Sahlins, Cook was not killed as an imperialist outsider. He was killed because he had become part of the Hawaiian system, which routinely killed certain of its leaders for complex reasons.

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